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Hidden Dangers of Representing Multi-Owner Businesses: Legal Pitfalls Accountants Must Avoid

Representing closely-held businesses with multiple owners presents numerous challenges to the accounting professional.  When representing their small-to-medium-sized business clients, most accountants today rarely limit their services to accounting and inevitably wind up delving into business advice.  When acting as a business advisor, there are certain matters relating to business entities that every accounting professional must keep in mind.

Accountants are often asked whether their newly created client should incorporate, form an LLC, or create a partnership.  There are many more issues than tax implications that go into making this determination, including what rights minority investors expect to have, or, conversely, what limitations on minority rights the majority owners expect to be in place.

This seminar will discuss various issues relating to different types of business entities, including:

  • Different rights that minority owners have under different types of business forms, including corporations, LLCs, and partnerships
  • How to avoid unintended consequences of choosing a particular type of business entity
  • How an accountant should handle competing interests among the various owners, including how to avoid inevitable conflicts involving such entities
  • Long-range planning issues an accountant should consider when assisting the owners in setting up various business entities
  • What may constitute shareholder oppression, and how to avoid being blamed for participating in such actions
  • The accountant’s duty, if any, when he or she becomes aware of improper transactions that may harm minority owners
  • Remedies available to minority owners in the various business entities who successfully litigate such a claim, including a forced buy-out
  • Valuation issues and clauses in formation documents that relate to how and in what circumstances an owner’s interest is valued in case of a forced buy-out

The seminar will be presented by David C. Roberts, Esq., Member of Norris McLaughlin and Edward Kurowicki, MBA, CPA/CFF, CVA, of Bedard, Kurowicki & Co., CPA’s, PC.

The seminar will take place on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at the Bridgewater office of Norris McLaughlin.  Registration begins at 8:30 am and the program starts at 9:00 am and goes till 10:00 am followed by a 30 minute question and answer session.

We are offering this seminar free of charge.  However, space is limited.

CPE Credits are available.

To register email your contact information to, Cassie Howlett at